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Coming Back to Center—The Psalms

Title: Coming Back to Center—The Psalms
Artwork by: Zach Stuef(@stuefcreative)
Description: 
This project is the culmination of a time where I needed to refocus my life on the Cross after a particularly hectic work season when I was a design intern with a major company in Detroit. During that season, I focused solely on myself and my own professional development, diminishing the significance of Christ’s role in my life and neglecting to seek out my Savior for guidance. I realised it was necessary for me to refocus and come back to the center—where Jesus should always be.

I was led to ponder over His words in the book of Psalms and draw creativity out of it. The ultimate goal of this series for me was to explore distilling chunks of meaningful Scripture into a single image. Here are a few meaningful lessons that stood out to me.

I hope that this encourages you to focus on Christ as much as it has helped me.

 

Psalm 133

This psalm celebrates how beautiful it is when believers live in unity and love! When we stick together as a community through our ups and downs, and build each other up, the psalm promises that God will bless us and make us fruitful. Like dew falling on Mount Zion, that cools the air and refreshes the earth, brotherly love will make us flourish spiritually. How important it is for us to grow and love each other in Christ!

 

Psalm 3

This is a psalm that was penned by David when he was running from his enemies. Despite his distress, David’s genuine faith in God shone through. David boldly asked God for help because He knew that God will never fail him. Likewise, in difficult circumstances, we can call out to God, knowing He will never fail us. God delivers us and provides for us. Even though a multitude of enemies surround us, we will not falter for salvation belongs to the Lord.

 

Psalm 102

When we are hit with affliction like the psalmist, we should look to God, our Savior. He is strong, steady and consistent like a lighthouse, guiding our way amid the storms of life. God has compassion on His people and will grant us sufficient grace to press on through difficulties. Let us praise and honor God, for He is worthy of our praise!

 

Psalm 139

God is omniscient and omnipotent. He knows our every thought, feeling, and action. No matter where we go, He will always be with us. As our Creator, God knows us inside and out. Let us take comfort in the knowledge that God is with us and will help us wherever we are. Let us invite God to sanctify, search, and know our hearts intimately.

 

Editor’s Picks: The Best of 2018

2018 has been a fulfilling year for us at YMI. We launched our very first online devotional, published over 560 articles, produced 39 artspace projects and 7 videos to help you ask the whys and walk out your purpose.

Taking Stock of Our Christmas Gifts

Title: Taking Stock of Our Christmas Gifts
Artwork by: Paulina Sangar (@caramel_art)
Description: 
Another Christmas has come and gone. Even though the excitement of getting presents for Christmas never grows old, we’re suddenly faced with a different reality when we look at all the presents before us. Will we ever get to use them all?

As you’re sifting through the gifts you received, why not spend some time thinking about how even the smallest gift could remind us of what it means to live with purpose as Christians. As we celebrate the greatest gift God has given us, hopefully it’ll inspire us to see the little gifts in our lives through a different light.

 

For those of us who live in countries with winter, you probably received a plaid scarf, a Christmas sweater or funky socks. Although we get them every year, we won’t deny we can never have too many of them. As you wrap yourself warm this Christmas, think about the warm love of Christ and bring that to someone who needs it this season.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness,
humility, meekness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

 

 

We can never have too many bath products. Even as we use them on a daily basis, may they remind us that we’ve been washed clean by the Word of God. Because of that, we now have the privilege of carrying the fragrance of Christ wherever we go—and it’s a scent that lasts longer than the latest Body Shop or Lush product.  

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 2:15)

 

You’ve received two pairs of earphones! They aren’t in the 2019 list of best earphones. They are not Sennheiser, nor are they Bose, but thrifty pairs from high street stores. What’s not to love about it when you now have a selection to choose from and you’re ever ready to plug in and tune in to your favorite worship playlist, Christian podcasts and sermon videos? God’s Word keeps our hearts tuned to Him.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17, ESV)

 

It’s nearly the end to another year. It’s time to thank God for the past year and look forward to the next! If you’re thinking about new year’s resolutions, how about simply “making your days count”? Don’t leave your calendar empty! Start marking and noting down in your fresh new calendar, friend’s birthdays, events to go to, goals to reach, and memories to make. Live every day with God’s purposes in mind.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

 

Are you someone with a sweet tooth and always happy to have your fix? Or perhaps sweet confections are not quite your thing, in which case, you might be unsure of what to do with the goodies you’ve just received.

Whichever one describes you, what we can all agree on is that once we’ve tasted the sweetness of Christ, it’s unforgettable and leaves us wanting more. Is there someone you can pass a box of chocolate to, share half a cookie with, or make a sweet drink for today? While you’re at it, why not take some time to share with them about the sweetness of Christ in your life?

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)

 

Teas are the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling stressed. There’s just something calming and therapeutic about watching the leaves steep and infuse the water in your cup. If you’re feeling anxious about the year ahead, why not put the kettle on the stove, make a cup of tea and steep yourself in the Word of God to prepare for the adventures in store for you? It’ll keep you warm and tingly, recharge you, and infuse your entire being with the knowledge that the God of the Bible will watch over your every step.

Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (Luke 12:31, The Message)

 

Got a notebook to add to your never-ending pile of empty notebooks? Maybe it’s time to fill up those pages—starting with stories of God’s faithfulness, little things you want to thank Him for, and lessons He’s teaching you—and you may find your heart swelling with thanksgiving as you trace God’s hand over your life. He’s writing your story every day—make sure you capture every moment!

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)

 

You never know how handy candles are until you’re plunged in darkness, but don’t wait till there’s a blackout to use them! The Christmas season is the perfect reminder that we are the light of the world because we have the life of Christ in us. So don’t be afraid to shine your light and help someone get out of the darkness they’re in.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1:4)

Take a leaf out of the Bible

Title: Take A Leaf Out Of The Bible
Artwork by: Bonny (@lovetheark)
Description: Have you ever noticed how often plants are mentioned in the Bible? This project takes a deeper look into the significance of some of the plants recorded in the Bible. The next time you come across one of these plants, may it serve as a reminder of the truths we can learn from different scenes in the Bible.

 

Fig Leaf

Adam and Eve gave in to temptation and disobeyed God’s instructions in the Garden of Eden. Their eyes were opened to sin and in their shame, they used fig leaves to cover their nakedness. The perfect love relationship between God and man was broken.

‘But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”’ (Genesis 3:9). Despite their disobedience and the alienation they experienced with God after that, He sought them out and clothed them with garments of skin (Genesis 3:21).

In the same fashion, God has provided us with a covering through Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Him, we stand justified and will never be put to shame (Romans 10:11).

 

Palm Branch

During the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a massive crowd had spread palm branches on the road as they praised God and welcomed “King Jesus”. They thought that He would be the one to overthrow the Roman rule and deliver them from their oppression.

But today, we know that Jesus came to fulfill the Scripture—to deliver us from our sin through His death and give us eternal life by His resurrection. And He will come again to restore everything and declare His Kingship over all the earth.

As believers today with full knowledge of the true identity of Christ, do we anticipate His second coming with the same longing and joy?

 

Mustard Seed

Many of us worry that our faith seems too small, doubting that God acknowledges it. So we try means and ways to grow our faith, hoping that God would recognize it somehow.

However, our faith does not thrive when we focus on how much faith we have; it thrives when we focus on the object of our faith—Our Almighty God.

Even with faith as small as a mustard seed, He can accomplish His great purposes through us. Our faith is crucial not because it is great, but because He is. No matter how insufficient we think our faith is, let’s keep on praying, knowing that He hears our prayers.

 

Wheat

“Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:23-24).

Using an allegory that foreshadowed His death, resurrection and salvation plan, Jesus likened His body to a kernel of wheat that dies and produces a great harvest. In His grace and mercy displayed through His death, His sacrifice gives eternal life to all who believes in Him.

We can embrace the new and abundant life we now have in Christ. But this includes denying ourselves as we choose to follow Him. Self-denial is no easy task. No matter how hard it may be, may we always choose to live a life that bears fruit and honors Him.

 

 

Olive Branch

On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The word “Gethsemane” means “place of the olive press”—and that perfectly encapsulates the suffering that Christ had to endure for our sake.

May we always remember that our salvation came at the cost of Christ’s suffering, and respond with worship that is rooted in gratitude.

 

 

Wildflower

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28)

God provides for the wildflowers and grass of the field much more than Solomon, Israel’s wealthiest king, could provide for himself. Likewise, He provides for His people—and much more!

Because of His complete knowledge of us and His faithful provision, we do not have to worry about our needs or what lies ahead of us. In seeking God’s Kingdom first, let us give of our time, possessions and talents generously and joyfully because in Him, we lack nothing (Psalm 23:1).